Molyko, Southwest Region - Buea, Cameroon


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audience perception of the credibility of local news sources

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The Mass media is part and parcel of our everyday activities.The researcher Intended to find out audience perception of the credibility of local news sources. To find out if these media platforme are credible, to also know the factors affecting the news credibiling of local news Sources and also to know which news source audience find to be a more Credible. To achieve the objective of this study,researcher made used of the quantitative research method employed to gather from respondents using a questionarre and the respondents made up of students of the university of that Buea filled the questionaires. Findings of the study proved that local news sources are credible in their report of news issues be it political, economic, social and health news issues,be it political ,economic, social and health.The study also revealed that picture and news are both means of reporting credible news that is audience tend to trust images and pictures more and also that regardless of editorial judgement news reports still give factual account of events and tell the story accurately


1.0 Background to the study
The mass media are tools for mass communication, saddled with the responsibility to inform, educate, and entertain members of the society. It is through the mass media that the society gets to know what is happening within and outside the country to enable them react accordingly. One of the ways to carry out these responsibilities is by disseminating information to vast heterogeneous audience. Going the memory lane on the history of communication via interpersonal to group communication .As time went by, one important by, one popular method from the days of the Roman Empire, where humans seek information from the mass media which revolutionized from the print media which started from it’s publishing practices centered daily events, it was a hand written news sheets posted by the government in the public market place from the year 59BC to at least ad 222. (Encarta, 2009)
As time went on the print media advanced when a German Johannes Gutenberg invented the Gutenberg press, where actual printing was done on metals by creating metallic plates placed on paper, consumed by readers, human also advanced in their technology, when the broadcast media consisting radio and television which were publicly used in 1895 and 1936 respectively (Daramola,2005). These allowed the transmission of media message to a wide variety of heterogeneous and homogeneous audience in real time. All these were medium through which human source for credible information which will be used to solve individual and societal needs
The 1990s were highly significant in the transformation of African journalism; the media sector once dominated by the state was finally opened to private Enterprise. Both the broadcast and print media sector have since witnessed an unprecedented expansion with numerous radio and television stations. In Cameroon the first radio started in the French sector of the country in the early 1940s this was located in the main sea port city of Douala with just 150watts, while television came to Cameroon in 1985. From 1966 to 1993 Cameroon witnessed the worst days in terms of political freedom, freedom of the press, freedom of association, religion worship under Ahidjo as president and in 1982 to 1993, president Paul Biya came to power .During the era of president Biya,he changed the media landscape of Cameroon through the liberty law of 1990 granting the freedom of the press both public and private.In 2004 there were 20 private radio statios in the country but they function without official licenses but back in 2003 there were 75 TV stations in the country both public and private ( Muluh 2002)
Upon accession to power,president Biya embarked on a dogma of rigour and moralistion, it is not clear which role president Biya assigned to the media in his rigour and moralistion policy. However,the harsh and repressive 1966 law was very much in place. The political evolution of Cameroon media landscape and the attendant public agitation for democracy led to a new law no.901052 was supposed to put an end to the 1966 emergency law which destroyed the liberty of press. The 1990 law on freedom of mass communication updated and repealed the 1966 law but administrative censorship was maintained.It was not until 1996 that the censorship clause was finally detected from law books ( Muluh 2002).
In the questionnaire to achieve press freedom, Cameroon saw the creation of the national communication council in 2012. The national communication council is a regulatory and consultative body with legal capacity and financial autonomy. It is placed under the prime minister,head of government. Set up by law No.90/052 of 19 December 1990 on freedom of social communication.
The national communication council is made up of 9 members including a chairman and a vice president.The national communication council guides the overall policy on social communication,the attribution of audiovisual communication licenses to private enterprises and the distribution of radio electric frequencies allotted for the broadcasting of radio and television schedules decree No.2012/038 of 23 Jan 2012 reorganising the national communication council gives the council the prerogative to temporarily sanction media organs for a period not exceeding six months and to pronounce definitive bans. Example of Such sanctions were in the national communication council press release of February 25 2015, the newspaper la nouvelle and it’s publisher Jacques Blaise was suspended for six months.Sismondi Barkev Bidjocka, publisher of “Ris Radio”, Emmanuel Nynanssi Nkouya, publisher of confidence magazine and Jocelyn Ngos journalist of DBS TV have all been suspended from the journalism process for unprofessional media practices

In this changed scenario one would not be wrong in doubting the credibility of news source. It has become an important variable in both the method of access and the credibility of the news, With so many choices behind the believability of news. News comprises of all current activities which are of general human interest.( F. Naveed,2011) best news is that which interest most of the audience. Common topics for news report include; war, economy, government, politics, business, entertainment and many others.

Credibility is a fundamental professional value. Researchers have suggested that without credibility journalism cannot exist (kohring and Matthes,2007). Although scholars and journalist disagree about what constitutes credibility. They however agree that it relates primarily to the faithfulness and accuracy of the fact that journalist report Payne and Dozier (2013) . A news organisation is said to be a credible source of information, if such medium reports events truthfully and objectively, by implication for a news medium to be regarded as credible,it must have consistently in it’s daily reports present facts without favour. ( Payne and Dozier 2013) also noted that credibility has been defined variously as the perception of news messages as plausible reflection of the events they depict and as a global evaluation of the objectivity of a given story. (Armstrong and Collins 2009) examined credibility of news from three perspectives source credibility, news credibility and message credibility.According to (Armstrong and Collins,2009) source credibility targets four dimensions of credibility knowledge, trustworthiness, attractiveness and dynamism, news credibility examines the credibility of the media or the particular industry that is television, radio, newspaper amongst believability of the message content.

One of the key functions of media in society is to survey and report event happening in the society, the news report is expected to present facts and analysis that allows citizens to make informed decisions in a complex information saturated society (Barntte, 2008). However credibility of news report has been a problem which has created a huge interest and worry amongst scholars. Studies (Barnett 2008, Tsafti 2008) reveal that there is a crumbling faith in journalism and an emergence of news media skeptics.
(Golan,2010) in his work ” new perspective on media credibility research”, Analysis the current issue on the American behaviorist scientist and present readers with up to date research on media credibility, exploring media credibility across communication field. Including political communication, civic journalism and media convergence. The study significantly investigate some of the key audience based variable that may influence the way audience evaluate and perceive media credibility. These variables may include political ideology trust a government news consumption media exposure and media reliance to give a must significant scholarship on the importance of media credibility.
1.1 Problem Statement
News can be accessible through television, radio, newspaper, internet, and so many others, with the presence of these news organizations, which has become so common, the journalism profession has become open to trained and untrained personnels. Thus this has led to a doubt in the credibility of news they disseminate. With the presence of those many news organizations. Comprising of trained and untrained journalist, information can be send without going through the process of verification. As a result, rumors can end up as news and this affect the credibility and believability. Audience may not be able to differentiate facts from fiction and they may accept all what they get from the news channels they prefer as true. It is important to examine their perception on the issue of credibility and trustworthiness of the news organizations and also investigate which news organization audience believe on the information they get from these news organization.Media dependence on rumors as news is problematic on news credibility
1.2 Main and Specific objectives of the study
1.2.0 Main Objective
 To determine the extend to which news sources are credible
1.2.1 Specific Objective
 To determine the factor affecting the news credibility of local news sources
 To determine which news sources audience find to be more credible in Buea
1.3 Main and Specific Research Questions
1.3.0 Main Research Question
 What is the level of credibility of news sources in Buea?
1.3.1 Specific Research Question
 What factors affect the credibility of news sources in Buea?

 Which news organization do audience find to be more credible
1.4 Hypothesis of the Study
H1- news organizations in Buea are credible
H2- Lack of proper investigation and verification of news source are some of the aspects that affect news credibility in Cameroon
H3- Television is most credible source of news information
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will help especially in the journalism profession. It will help journalist to know how audience perceive credibility of information which will help them write more credible, factual, balance and accurate news. It will also help audience to know the type of news organizations to rely on for credible information
1.6 Scope /Delimitation of study
My scope and Delimitation of study is Buea the south west region of Cameroon precisely the University of Buea which is located at Molyko. The university of Buea was founded as a university center in 1985 and became a full fledged university in 1992, following a government degree that reorganized state University in the country .on audience perception about the credibility of local news organization, my main focus will be youths especially the students of the university of Buea precisely JMC level 300 and Level 400students to know their opinion on credibility of news organization in Cameroon

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
News; news is accurate, biased account of the significant that of a timely happening, that is of interest to the readers (Maulsbyl, 2015).News is the timely report of facts or opinion that hold interest of importance (Charnky, 1996)
News Credibility; news credibility refers to the perceived credibility of communicated message itself such as information quality, accuracy and currency. Source credibility focuses on the expertise or trustworthiness of the source fairness as well as balance. Hong, Wilson, Leong, Age and Hong (2015)
Credibility; credibility is the believability of an organ intention of a particular moment in time. The more believable the message source the more likely it is to influence the receptor (Herbig and Mile Wicz, 1995)
Perception; perception is a belief or opinion often held by many people, and based on how things seem or it’s someone’s ability to notice and understand things that are not obvious to other people. The ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses.
News sources; it is a publication,person or knowledge or document that gives timely information

read further: Journalism and Mass Communication Project Topics with material  

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